Last week we sat at our kitchen table and did something I haven’t done in years: stuffed envelopes and licked stamps. Goodness knows I did all that and more in the nine years I published Film Fan Monthly, beginning at the age of 15. This time around it’s part of our new Patreon initiative. If you’re unfamiliar with the service, click HERE and you’ll see how it works. It’s a way of connecting me and you, my audience, on a personal basis. Depending on the level you choose, you might get a postcard from my family and me, or at the Executive Producer level we actually send you a piece of movie memorabilia from my collection via old-fashioned snail mail. What a concept!
Mind you, I love writing for this website and hosting our Maltin on Movies podcast with Jessie. But some topics have broader appeal than others. For my monthly Patreon newsletter, Jessie encouraged me to share my thoughts on anything that popped into my head, as well as snapshots from my scrapbook. One of our patrons said my first missive “read more like a personal note from a friend than a newsletter,” which is exactly what I tried to achieve.
Another regular feature is a look at vintage movie collectibles, which surround me even as I write these words. They say one person’s trash is another one’s treasure. I can’t function unless I have goodies all around me. I’ve never been able to sign a letter on my desk, because the surface is covered with tchotchkes, most of them movie related. (I also have a weakness for vintage advertising iconography, cartoon characters, and old-time radio… along with the 1939 New York World’s Fair.)
I’ve never been a great photographer, but every now and then I take a good shot—or just get lucky to have colorful or famous people standing right in front of my lens. I love sharing these with people who appreciate them.
That’s what Patreon is enabling me to do for a select group of followers. I’m showing off a sample of photos from my backlog to give you an idea of what’s yet to come. I’ll still be posting reviews and journal entries right here, as always…but I’m having fun spreading my wings in a different way and hope you enjoy it.
I was lucky enough to capture this foursome at the Golden Boot Awards in the 1990s: George Montgomery, Clayton Moore, Lloyd Bridges and his son Jeff. There are so many stories to tell about this annual event that celebrated Western movies and TV shows.
Long before it was reopened to the public as the Ace Hotel, I was taken to see the United Artists Theatre on Broadway in Los Angeles and someone pointed out a most unusual gargoyle: he’s turning the handle on a hand-cranked movie camera!
I visit movie palaces wherever I go: here is part of the lobby of the lovingly restored Civic Theatre in Auckland, New Zealand. This 1929 gem is an “atmospheric” theater with clouds and twinkling stars in the ceiling.
Here’s one collectible I covet but have never even seen in person: an ashtray promoting the 1932 British production of The Hound of the Baskervilles which featured Robert Rendel, John Stuart, and Heather Angel. I found this picture online but I fear if it ever turned up for sale I’d be competing with avid Sherlock Holmes aficionados.